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About AstroKerr

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    Astronomy, Astrophoto, Scopes, CNC Plasma/Router/Laser, Wife's Drone, Solar and yeah...
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    Page, AZ, US
  1. 'Paddington stares' - coffee out me nose...
  2. TSR! Lovely box! Now, tho', ahem, might I ask that you upsize that box one more time to allow room for foam between those pretty EPs or wrap each EP in a bit of that thin foamish sheeting so as to better protect the paint/ink/finish? Particularly that Mark III which you will undoubtedly wish to pass on to a kindly, envious sort of fellow at some future point =). Honestly though - Box is cool, recyclable! Thanks for sharing!!
  3. You guys are great! Grabbed a couple mainland china lunars, ND 13% transmission and they seem to be a-ok - under $7 and free shipping. Still scouting for a nice OIII, John, in the auctions - but just from your images - wow, what an improvement - found an older Meade DSI and DSI Pro II for a few farthings, and they give images very like your unfiltered veil - was wondering how to clean things up on the optical side vs post proc - now I know. Phil, JOC, Pieroa et al - I am taking note of your referrals and advice to be sure - side hunts are on - you guys are all very helpful to everyone who reads those posts.
  4. Thanks, Fox-o! JOC and Louis have both made good cases for Dobs and the points they make are valid. I too doubt you'll regret a 200p Dobs and ya have to start somewhere. I will maintain 'try before buy' whenever possible. Our first scope was going to be a 12" Dobs, but I needed something HoneyBadger and the granddaughters could move easily when I was at work, so the 8" flector... which still turned out more than she likes dragging, but will drag. =/ - and I sort of ignored the smaller Dobs although I couldn't tell you why - meh. M' gaen t' bile m' haed... I still like the lil Heritage - got the Orion equiv.
  5. Took a look around Sky Commander - nice stuff! Usable with Dobs, Forks and GEMs - that's very handy. Thank you for the info! CS&SE
  6. I'm fluey - but - It's can be determined for both as diameter and/or area. Area is the more 'refined' calculation, yielding what percentage of the primary's light gathering area is lost by inclusion of the secondary in the light path. Area of circle = pi * (r*r) for both, then As/Ap or 1/(Ap/As) commonly 9~13% or so. Can be higher for smaller main obj diameters - sometimes MFRS will use the same diam sec with a 90mm and a 127mm. Useful for comparing light gathering capabilities between reflectors and refractors, light avail for AP, Object magnitude limits and so on. Be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!
  7. Gosh, Louis, I dunno... accurate polar alignments and the like, twisting those knobby bits associated with RA and Dec in a controlled manner so you can, needs be, use (silly me) tabled celestial coordinates and the RA and Dec rings (which may be of questionable quality, size, readability and hence utility) whilst adjusting for local time to find something so mystical, so elusive that point-n-go or star hopping just isn't getting you there OR you just want to expand your astronomical education/skill set a bit as countless others have over the centuries? There can be a certain satisfaction in that. The OP did indicate a certain minimal interest in AP and that, from what I hear, sometimes requires you to point a camera at something your eyes can't quite see and track it so that the magic of the electronic (or film) astronomical image capture device can occur - maybe I misunderstood... I like AltAz w/ slomos. I like the little Orion Autotracker or the Orion/Celestron/Meade Goto AZ mounts - they're great for 4 button power slewing to a target, then one button push drops the speed and I can slow-slew after something - crazy fun for visual - and they have track modes as well if you do the inital alignment, which I usually skip because, as you mention, they're great grab and go! But doesn't it (in manual), unless you wedge, take two tweaks to track with AltAz vs EQ's one (properly setup) in general? So I thought maybe, given the OPs stated interests & budget and my limited experience, 'EQ' might be easier (after the initial learning curve) and more resource efficient to get him to 'visual with option of some AP'. I have also used a ball head camera mount to fine effect. No 'true' dobs yet, and when we do it will more than likely get 'equatorialised' to facilitate drag tracking. I have the flu. Clear Skies & Sharp Eyes, Verbose Jim
  8. Before you spend a single ducat, go to a star party and try out any thing they'll let you try. Before your budget starts getting bigger and your wait longer, visit with the members of the nearest astronomy clubs and suggest they 'outreach' you. Put all thoughts of a 'goto' out of your head until you've seen one in action, mashed the little keys on the controller, goofed up the keen little sequence a few times. I'd like you to think Equatorial Mount (maybe with tracker motor - which is useful). It will help you acquire skills you will need later that you need now. Don't try to pick reflector/refractor/schmidt-cass/mak-cass before you've looked thru each and understand how they work and what they will do well that you might like to pursue. Me, I like'em all - specifically whichever it is that I'm not getting shoved off. Little ETX60, 8" Newt, 90 Mak - whatever I can peer thru undisturbed and see the moon if not jupiter if not saturn if not doubles if not Neb-things if not M-things - heck, I like looking at the ducks, cormorants, geese, heron/cranes, hawks, eagles and condors in the area of the dam I work at. It's ALL good. Go Astro-clubbing and get hands-on and eyes-thru before you buy anything other than say a (preferably pre-owned) 114 Newt or 60~80 refractor on an equatorial mount - everything else you might want to buy you really need to try first. You get sort of 'free pass' on the 114 Newt / 60~80 refractor because they're like taters (or carrots or cabbage); they're a staple you can pass on to your neighbor w/ kids for a decent recoup, or some one like the SG Loungers or Cn'ers, myself certainly included, who will gladly listen to your upgrade tale and want to help out and take it off your hands - seriously. And if you get a good deal and it suits you - you'll keep it for a long while because it's your first and what the hey, ya save a few weeks more, buy the 2nd and YOU GOT TWO!! So you can share with loved ones, who despite their protestations of eternal unconditional love, will stomp, mutter and whine until you get out of line =). Telescopes are that magical, they really are... Everyone here wants you to succeed, guaranteed. You have gotten excellent advice, guaranteed - these folks are very good at this, they have an immense amount of experience, they have seen things that to most are only legend - but none of us are you, so at some point unless you get hands-on and eyes-thru - it can all seem like noise. I'm months new and they tell me 'go slow' and so I pass that bit on - go slow, do not leap. Try before buy - it saves geld & regrets. Clear Skies & Sharp Eyes, Jim And I am going slow, really - tho' not always by choice. That has been the best advice, thank you.
  9. Thanks for the link! I have - joined 4 or 5 days back and already a satisfied customer thereof - it's a great venue, but you have to be quick! Missed a nice Vixen and a mount because I refreshed my coffee. Very nice folks there, and here, and @ CN. Got a couple Baaders for my HoneyBadger and some X-Cel LXs for the granddaughters - I doubt I could tell them from pristine new, except one box looks 'older' than the others. I expected little thumbscrew marks on the barrels or something - nada. Maybe a fluke - but that's eight lenses from six sellers so far - the quality is there; Astro(nomy) folks care . Avg savings was 27.2 % off retail, shipped - enough for a 'free' pre-owned Baader Zoom for the wife. Would've saved a little more if I'd known to use notifications, but I'm happy. I'm watching a set of 4 Expanse go for 60 + change. I really want to try them, but they're Not In My Budget!! Aargghh! I am soooo tempted. Cool thing - there'll be another set out there before long, or as loners. They just went for $62.50. that hurt. $170 new. meh.
  10. Unless ye use yer imaginations... =) Now, earlier I took peach over pear, in a way, and blathered on about pre-owned - but 'budget astronomy' can also mean that which you budget for, making sound and wise decisions as to geld accumulation and equipment selection in advance, then sticking to your basic procurement plan, looking at all times for ways to increase astronomy fund income and decrease equipment costs where possible, but not necessarily limiting your purchases to the pre-owned equipment market. New is nice - you get warranties and guarantees and discounts and added to mailing lists and all that - in some instances you can just say "pfft! that's not fer me! take it back, take it back!" That probably is a rare occurrence in the Astronomy communities - we're just not like that, making incorrect purchases and such - but it is a nice cushion for the guest crowd. And new, in some cases, can actually be cheaper than pre-owned - there are, and I kid you not, deals available wherein if you chose to accept you would pay more for a pre-owned item w/ shipping than for the same item, new, with shipping! I've so far managed to remain alert enough to avoid that pitfall, but it exists - Be Wary! I'm a bit twitched that Excel just ate the Budget Astronomy Spreadsheet (with a pool and room for a pony!) I was working on. CS&SE,
  11. It says something positive about the community, on a large scale, that you can find good quality gear and not have to worry much. And add to that the huge benefit of SGL (and the other) forums and local clubs - ya save time and munny with that advice-driven ability to focus your search, set your 'goal' pieces, avoid duds and dead-ends. If I had had just this past month's worth of advice gained from the forums, I'd've gotten the wife and I this far for a good bit less. We're 2 hours from anywhereselse and there's been just 1 star party here this year, that we know of. National Park Service hired some folk from here and there for an outreach. Not a lot of info exchange - " here, take a look, next please...". Not a huge turn-out, but enough to say there is interest in the area. And you're right if you say 'ya can't beat the experience of having had xyz scopes' - hands on (if you pay attention which I don't always) is invaluable, which again can be had with good community on-the-cheap. And some of it - AP - doesn't seem to ever get 'very inexpensive'. Those imaging tools just to cost more, true enough. New or pre-owned, I guess there's just not the volume to get things very inexpensive - upgrades get funded by sales and I think that keeps prices up a bit. Always ask, I'm finding, even if it's an old listing or says 'sold' or what you're needing is part of a lot - it doesn't hurt to ask and so far I don't think I've annoyed a seller by doing so, and I've gotten three good deals. I hope these posts catch some new folk (like meself) before big or first buys. Well, work calls, holiday or no =) Be Safe, Be Well
  12. I'm hoping for a glut of post-SE2017 stuff eventually. search-snipe-search. Funny you could p/u a whole set of pre-owned ETXs, say, for the cost of 1 or 2 of those mad premium eyepieces. Got an ETX-60 in beautiful shape for £65 - then a '70 for £71, two 114 Newts w/ tripods & EQ-2/3 equiv mounts for £60 each - and all those were shipped - 40% of the cost was shipping =/ (My reason excuse for the two newts is one's f/4.4, the other f/8.8) - but they are out there, inexpensive, and in quite good shape. And they all came with 'free' EPs - nothing great, but no duds. In the end, 'preowned' or patience lets us pursue our hobby and to try out this or that, then pass it on. I love preowned EPs - the mid range stuff is often in great condition, like or near new, for 50%~70% retail. Bless TV/Leica/Pentax for being so superlative, so crisply wide of field, so very desireable! I was wind-dusted back inside this eve - Saturn image escapes again! Clear Skies, Sharp Eyes, and Pence-in-Pocket!!
  13. DatysonT7M / ASI120MM -Thank you - I'm going to try to get one as well - you've set us a fine example! Thank you for your help - honestly. Jim
  14. ...and keep doing it! You give me hope! Those are excellent results for a first time, I think - I am envious! Does this look like your Datyson T7? If this is the same imager, well, I'd say from your fine pix they're pretty okay, yeah? Congrats and Thanks for sharing! Jim
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